His Promise by Shelley Shepard Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the sixth book that Shelley Shepard Gray has set in Hart County, Kentucky but it isn't necessary to read the other five books first. In "His Promise" we meet Grace King and the young Amish man that she secretly liked five years ago. She believed that he was interested in her sister Beth and even though John Michael Miller did "court" Beth he ended their relationship because his heart told him that it was Grace that he wanted. Fast forward five years and, after meeting again, it is apparent that there is definitely still a spark between Grace and John Michael.
This story has the sweet beginnings of romance but the relationship is beset with strained feelings between John Michael, Beth and some of the other members of the King family. There is also danger and mystery because it appears that someone may be lurking around the house where Grace is pet-sitting during the Christmas holidays and John Michael fears for her safety. The occurence of several robberies in the area and fires that appear to have been deliberately set cause alarm and fear among the citizens of Hart County. There is a moving scene between Grace and a lady who has lost her home to one of these fires when they both realize that their various trials don't mean that God hasn't been there with them. The two of them find comfort in these words from Isaiah 43:2. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flame will not set you ablaze."
Author Shelley Shepard Gray has written a faith-based story that places her Amish characters in unusual circumstances even as they stay true to the beliefs that are the foundation of their Amish faith. Grace's job as a pet sitter isn't the norm for a nineteen year old Amish woman and John Michael is employed as a Hart County fireman. There are other interesting characters such as Jennifer and Dorma but the one that almost steals the book is an adorable but cantankerous little dachshund named Snooze that Grace is in charge of. He puts Grace in several unpredictable situations and he provides readers with many laughs!
I enjoyed "His Promise: An Amish Christmas in Hart County" and I recommend it to anyone who likes Christmas stories mixed with Christian romance and Amish fiction. I believe that readers of the previous books in this series will especially like that Gray briefly mentions some of those prior storylines as she concludes The Amish of Hart County series.
I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher but a review was not required.
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